How to send money to Kenya

Looking for a secure, cheap way to send money to Kenya from the US? Here’s how.

Sending money to Kenya doesn’t have to be expensive. From bank transfers and online transactions to options that allow recipients to collect your funds within minutes, you’ll want to compare the transfer fees and exchange rates of the many options available to you to get the best deal.
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    Compare money transfer services to Kenya

    Use our interactive table to compare transfer fees, exchange rates and other details for sending funds to Kenya with our money transfer partners.

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    Save money on your personal or business international money transfer today. Fill in the form and you’ll be contacted by a foreign exchange expert to have an obligation-free discussion about your options.

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    Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Services Amount Received Description CTA Details
    USD 1,000 1 day USD 0.00 102.789 Online, Phone, Bank Account to Bank Account KES 513,945 Exclusive offer: $0 transfer fee
    No-limit transfers with competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies.
    Go to site Show details
    USD 150 1 - 2 days USD 0.00 100.571 Online, Phone, Agent, Bank Account to Bank Account KES 502,856 No hidden fees and a best rate guarantee for 60 global currencies. Go to site Show details
    USD 1 3 - 5 days - - Online, Phone, Bank Account to Bank Account, Cash Transfer No fees for bank account transfers and cash pickup at 240,000 locations in 130+ countries. Go to site Show details
    USD 0 1 - 2 days USD 0.00 102.119 Online, Phone KES 510,593 $0 transfer fees with rates at never more than a 2% markup. Go to site Show details
    Do you send money often? Track this rate with tailored alerts direct to your inbox

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    Banks vs. money transfer companies

    Your major US banks may offer the option to send funds to Kenya. But banks typically charge high transfer fees and offer exchange rates that are significantly lower than the mid-market rate — or the rate banks and transfer providers use when trading among themselves.

    A reputable money transfer specialist can offer better exchange rates and also charge lower fees, saving you money and putting more Kenyan shillings into your recipient’s pocket. Some providers offer electronic transfers to bank accounts only, while others also provide cash pickups, mobile wallet payments and cash delivery services.

    Case study: John sends money to Kenya

    John moved to the United States to work for a few years and save as much money as possible for his family. He wants to send $5,000 to his relatives, but he doesn’t want to lose too much money to high fees or weak exchange rates. He compares the services of two money transfer companies to see if he can find a good deal.

    Money Transfer Company A
    Money Transfer Company B
    Exchange rate1 USD = 100.43 KES1 USD = 100.64
    Transfer fee$5$16
    Transfer speed1 business day10 minutes
    Transfer optionBank account transferBank account transfer
    Total KES received
    502,150 KES503,200 KES

    As you can see, John will pay an extra $11 in fees with Money Transfer B, but he’ll get his transfer to Kenya within minutes — and send an extra 1,050 Kenyan shillings to his parents.

    How to compare transfer companies when sending money to Kenya

    • Exchange rates. Nearly all providers skew exchange rates for a profit. Compare the rate you’re offered to the mid-market rate — the rate banks and transfer services use when they trade among themselves — and look for the smallest margin between them.
    • Transfer fees. Find out whether the provider charges a flat fee or a percentage of your transfer. If you’re sending a large amount, ask whether you qualify for a fee-free transfer.
    • Transfer methods. Common methods for placing transfers include online, through a mobile app, over the phone or at an agent location.
    • “Hedging” options. Ask whether you can schedule payments ahead of time or protect your transfer against market fluctuations with a limit order or forward contract.
    • Transfer speed. If it needs to be there fast, companies like Western Union and MoneyGram allow for quick cash pickups, often in minutes. If you’ve more time, you’ll get better rates and fees with an independent provider.
    • Transfer limits. Your best option might depend on how much you want to send. For large transfers, weigh the best exchange rate — especially since providers encourage large transfers by offering low fees. For smaller amounts, consider the fees you’ll pay on top of the exchange rate.
    • Customer service. Most companies offer customer service by Internet chat, phone, in person or by email. Make sure help will be available if you need it.
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    How to send money to Kenya from the US

    • Bank transfers. Many major US banks will allow you to wire money to banks in Kenya.
    • Money transfer providers. It’s simple and convenient to send an online money transfer to Kenya from the comfort of your home.
    • Money transfer companies with cash pickup options. Companies like Western Union and MoneyGram offer the option of cash pickups from thousands of agent locations across Kenya.
    • M-Pesa. M-Pesa is a safe, secure way to send, receive and store money through your mobile phone or an app. Top up your account at one of more than 287,000 agent locations and then send money to loved ones, who can visit an agent to withdraw their funds.
    • Checks and money orders. Although not a quick option, you could send an international check overseas, obtained from your bank or US Postal Service.
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    Emergency cash transfers in Kenya

    You might need to send an emergency cash transfer to Kenya — for example, if a friend traveling through the country loses their wallet. When you need to transfer funds urgently, your fastest possible transfer will often be your most expensive option. Carefully review the exchange rate and transfer fee against your needs so that you understand exactly how much it will cost you.

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    Tips for picking up cash in Kenya

    Whether picking up funds in Kenya or anywhere else around the world, take a few simple safety precautions to prevent yourself becoming a target for thieves.

    • Call ahead. Learn the company’s business hours and choose a safe time to pick up your cash. Daylight hours are best.
    • Bring a friend. Carrying money when alone can be dangerous. Ask a friend to come along.
    • Deposit your money immediately. The likelihood of losing your money to theft or simple carelessness grows the longer you have it with you. Go straight to a bank and deposit your cash as soon as possible.
    • Keep your cash hidden. Place your money in your purse or wallet before leaving the office. Carrying cash out in the open could make you a target.
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    How to send money to Kenya

    Most providers will require you to sign up for an account before you can send funds. Generally, you’ll provide:

    • Your full name and contact info, including an email address.
    • Proof of government-issued ID, such as your driver’s license or passport.
    • Bank account details, if you’re sending a bank-to-bank transfer.

    Once you’ve initiated a transaction, you’ll receive a tracking number to monitor the progress of your funds.

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    2 Responses

    1. Default Gravatar
      JohnFebruary 26, 2017

      Can money come with a plane, carrier

      • Staff
        AnndyJune 27, 2017Staff

        Hi John,

        Thanks for your question.

        If you are referring to how to receive the money sent to you, there are different options available depending on the money transfer company. Generally, recipients can receive money by cash pick up or through a bank account.

        Cheers,
        Anndy

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